Mending fences mend our heart walls,
… from a thought hedged about in constant confusion;
Of souls swept away in bitter bondage,
… cracking the hurt that binds with delusion.
Cultural wars in the name of progress,
… mislead and harbor an enormous divide;
Of human ties created to connect us,
… meant to heal, rebuild and provide.
Means of protection alert of erosion,
… an ebbing, a continuous river that flows;
A rapid escape or violent intrusion,
… of hindering the growth, a spiritual formation.
Something once blocked that peaceful passage,
… barriers that peered, spoke no improvement;
Of fractured hearts once twisted with baggage,
… now reaching, engaged, in divine movement.
Mending the fences, mends the heart walls,
… because Christ, the Cross, redeems our heart condition;
By taking every thought, and action captive,
… through Christ, his grace, and mercy provision.
Psalm 18:30 ~ This God-his way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.
The scriptures (Holy Bible) show that restoration (to mend) is a worthy and necessary endeavor, not only for the body of Christ, but also for the individual and on a moral level. Before we can answer the call to restore, we must understand what it means to be restored and how restoration can be achieved.
What does it mean to be restored?
Galatians 6:1 exhorts ~ Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted. The Greek word used for “restore” means to repair, to fit, frame, or mend. This implies not only that the recipient of restoration is in a state of disrepair or error, but also that there is a pattern by which we must be “framed, mended or fitted”. All humans are aware of their imperfections; therefore everyone should agree that no one is perfect. Ever since the beginning of time, God has given mankind a set of laws to live by but men and women have always fallen short.
Romans 3:23 informs us ~ For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Restoration means that we are in a constant state of repair and in need of someone to mend our broken lives. It also requires us to be submissive to God. This takes humility, on our part, to recognize that there are things in our lives that need to be fixed. This humility glorifies God because we gladly give Him the authority to dictate how we are to live our lives. When we find that we are living in a way or doing something more, less, or different than He has commanded, we recognize that we are the ones in error and must submit to His divine provision.
2 Timothy 3:16 – 17, tells us how to be mended … All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.
This passage provides a four-step progression that completes the restoration process.
Doctrine is the original pattern or instruction that must be followed. Adding to, taking away from, or doing anything differently from this pattern is considered an error. Being in doctrinal error causes one to be a candidate for restoration. This pattern is provided by the scriptures (Holy Bible), which have been inspired by God.
Reproof means that someone is coming to the knowledge of being in error, meshed in sin. This is the step when one is informed of their differences from a pattern laid down in scripture (the inspired Word of God-Holy Bible), and is convicted to change. We might think of this as a laundry list of flesh patterns, of coping mechanisms or vices that replace a dependence on God, things that are in vast contrast to the scriptures that in essence speak disobedience to God. This step in the restoration process is accompanied by repentance.
Correction is the remedy for the error and promotes restoration. In this step one has acknowledged God’s pattern and realized they have strayed from it; now, they must find the way to mend their errors. This is by far the most difficult step in the restoration process. In this step, one must follow their convictions, swallow their pride, and make the changes that are required to be fitted into the God’s original pattern. This is where and through His grace one begins to abstain from things they should not do and begin to do the things that he or she is commanded to do. This step is often ignored because of an individual’s pride or because of a lack of conviction through true faith. The ways to correct our errors are provided by the scriptures (Holy Bible), the inspired Word of God.
Instruction in Righteousness
This step in the restoration process takes place after ones errors have been fixed. This step is where they find out what to do in the future rather than falling back into error. This is the second most neglected step in the process because people often forget to take guard against future mistakes. This step is also very similar to the Doctrine step, but is different in that it gives instructions to each specific error previously made, rather than a master pattern to follow. Again, instruction in righteousness is found in the inspired Word of God (Holy Bible).
When talking of restoration, it is important to rely on God’s Word (Holy Bible) rather than man’s word. Since this is something so very important to our soul’s salvation it is of utmost importance to make sure beyond any shadow of a doubt that the pattern that we use is the true one. The doctrines of men have changed countless times throughout history and will continue to change, but if we follow the Bible in its inspired form, we can rest and be assured that we are being restored to the pattern that God Himself created and has preserved in spite of countless attacks regarding its authenticity. Restoration is based around the idea of following or being “fitted” to a pattern. When following a pattern to make clothes, it is important to note that when the pattern and the thing that is being fitted are not the same, the one that conforms is never the pattern. The pattern never changes because it is the thing that has been provided by the authority (in our case God) and has been tried and proven to be true. Restoration is the act of making alterations in our lives so that we can be in congruence with the perfect pattern of the Word of God. This is done only in and through the life of Christ in us.
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose. ~ Galatians 2:20-21.